Cuts to Prison Education Programs Shortsighted, Columnist Says


Cuts to prisoner job-training and education programs are shortsighted, says Denver Post columnist Tina Griego. She profiles The Empowerment Program, a nonprofit whose prisoner re-entry component is being shut down due to budget cuts. Griego writes, “Every month, Colorado’s prisons release about 900 inmates on parole. From month to month, another 2,800 inmates are living in halfway houses where they must pay rent and find work to pay that rent.”

“These two groups jump into the job pool to compete with the thousands of unemployed people who don’t have a rap sheet. You know who gets hired. Federal Department of Labor money that helped ex-offenders with job training and work support is disappearing. So, too, is Department of Corrections money for vocational ed and GED classes — the classes that help an inmate find work once released.” She adds, “Creative thinking is required. The money is drying up.”

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